Pastor Bart said Sunday that Revelation says, “Wake up Church. We are called to proclaim the Gospel.” The world needs people of faith. The problem… we are afraid of persecution so we don’t proclaim the Gospel. Our fear, our lack of faith keeps the beast in play. According to Revelation 12:10 the Accuser is thrown down; through the blood of the Lamb, by our testimony, and by us going all in to the point of laying our lives down for Jesus. We are a part of the overthrow of the Beast. Passive Christians need not apply… one almost has to ask, is passive Christian an oxymoron or even antithetical?
Recently I had a discussion regarding Jesus’ statement, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother… such a person cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) But a phrase in that verse was slightly missed, “yes, even their own life.” Jesus isn’t calling us to hate, rather, He is calling us to prioritize God first to be a disciple. Nothing should come between us and God, even those who we love deeply. Our jobs, our stuff, our friends and our family must take a far second. Jesus is using hyperbole here, a statement that is exaggerated and not intended to be taken literally. It is used to wake us up, listen and think. To follow Christ is to be fully and absolutely committed to following Him no matter what may assail us.
There is a lot of fear generated when people read and study Revelation. They read “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus” and panic. They want to escape and some even come up with multiple reasons why those who the dragon rages against won’t be us. But John writes instead, “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.” He repeats it just a few paragraphs later. Yes, we may very well face physical persecution and even death but when we are people of faith, standing firm in our faith even minor difficulties that will surely come against us as people of faith will be like a soap bubble, here for a time but Christ will certainly pop it, making it disappear. The result–the beast will be thrown down, defeated by the blood of the Lamb, by our testimony, and by complete commitment to Christ.
What is it that you fear? Read Matthew 6:25-34. What can you do to overcome your fear? What can you do to have patient endurance and faithfulness?
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ -Revelation 7:17